Fuck Proprietary Skills

People don't learn how to program, but learn how to S3 or EC2, people don't learn how to illustrate but how to Photoshop, or how to C4D. "Oh, I couldn't possibly make music without Ableton.." This is sad.

@neauoire the part I hate the most is how over-complex everything becomes through this mindset, and how draining doing even the smallest project is.

@Scarlet I agree, until recently I was getting really lost in that web of garbage myself, and it took a while to see that this was all artificial complexity and the crux of it was that nothing was really "advancing" at all.

@neauoire I spent so much time fighting with this kind of bullshit before burning out.

Now that I can actually work in baby steps to make stuff *work*, developing becomes much simpler and more enjoyable.

@neauoire I entirely agree there, that said there is a lot of UX issues with software, I can draw okay in azpainter/mypaint/gimp/krita but translating goes really specific and limited compared to AFK items where I can pick basically anything good enough.

I can probably do some kind of nice sound with anything that can make a nice enough noise AFK but on a computer… oh dear (I generate PCM data in C these days for this…)

@neauoire i'm looking at a computer replacement and ableton access is definitely a big factor -___-

feeling torn in general but DIY computing feels like just as big a web of artificial complexity, in that it can distract focus from output to process

@neauoire your tools have been among my favourites to use, but they also feel incredibly proprietary. There is a learning curve that allows me to do something specific that i usually can't do in other tools. Not that I don't learn anything useful from them, but it's only somewhat universal learning.

@anandra I use proprietary here to mean using tools that are not owned by their users but are more like a service or a rental.

@neauoire i'm studying art, and i regularly get into fights with my lecturers over bullshit like "you have to hand in a protools project to prove you know how to use a daw", as if there weren't a dozen other daws (i've also handed in projects cut entirely on cli in ffmpeg, nobody even noticed) 😬

@aurora @neauoire

Use whatever that gets out of your way to make the thing. Or is a genuine experience using.

I've discovered that I make different music in different styles depending upon the DAW that I use. Which was an interesting insight to somebody who starts every song with "I'm going to try and remake 'Piggy' by Nine Inch Nails.

@aurora @neauoire with protools being locked to OSX is it mandatory you have a mac for your course?

@neauoire I've wanted to learn more about graphic design, but the idea of being locked into proprietary software to do so kills me.

@jlamothe it's not tied, you could do graphic design without running proprietary stuff, or you could spin your own graphic design tools.

@neauoire That implies learning from someone who knows about it and *isn't* tied in into those tools. That's been my challenge.

@jlamothe ah yeah that's tough if you don't have a support network that can help out.. I would never been able to transition away from Adobe myself if I didn't have people to ask my questions to.


Wish you could be part of my support network.🙂

@neauoire Hello Devine I was reading about uxn. If I understand well it's an emulator so to use it I have to port it compiling a file written in C and its dependency SDL2

@atabi Well, there's an SDL emulator, but the gameboy/psp/nds emulators might not need SDL.

If you want to use Uxn on a linux machine, yeah the SDL emulator is the best choice :)

But there are no Uxn processors, it always have to be emulated on some other machine, that's sort of the idea behind its design. It's that it is easy to emulate anywhere :)

As a simple final user I have a dream: Let to work with an efficient and no hugry power hardware (like apple ipad) but with an open source minimalist UI and software like your creations.

@atabi iPads are extremely power hungry. but that's the plan :) Have you seen @alderwick's work on bringing Uxn to hardware?

Hello Are you porting uxn on hardware? Please let me know more about it.

@atabi Hi!

I already have a little demo working with a Raspberry Pi Pico and a SHARP Memory Display:

I'm happy that I can implement more devices (mouse, keyboard, game controller) by adding them to more pins on the Pico and plumbing them in to the devices in Uxn, but I've not attempted them yet 😅

I really should get a demo running of something very demanding on the CPU, like the Game of Life demo, to see how fast it'll be!


Unfortunately I find that learning the different yet confusingly similar user interfaces of different tools can be a real barrier for people.

@neauoire When I did my computer science degree, each aspect of programming was taught using a different language. File handling was done in COBOL, object-oriented programming was done in Java, algorithm was done in C++, database was done in SQL92 enforced by an Oracle DBMS. I didn't learn PHP that I've been practicing professionally since I graduated until the end of year project and it had been selected by the external consultant.

@neauoire It's always weird seeing people put down 'Office 365' as a Skill. It's more like knowledge of a catalogue, but it's not really 'knowing stuff you can do', it's 'knowing stuff you can buy'.

@neauoire I agree hard on this in principal and my soul.

My heart has softened to the notion that many/most(?) are just trying to get a good paying job and this is what companies expect.

@peregrine I don't think it's necessarily individual's fault. There's immense pressure from companies, and that'll make anyone do anything so they can feed their families.

@neauoire Trying to avoid making people feel bad for a choice they didn't even really make.

@peregrine That goes for basically everything. We've been watching the Manufacturing Ignorance documentary from DW recently XD..

@clacke @neauoire @peregrine there's this on similar themes: (there is a book too). Maybe you heard about it already as it had quite a lot of impact, but if not then recommended.

@neauoire even with the simplest computing task there is, writing words, people often have to fight proprietary software with arbitrary version incompatibilities that seem designed to break the ability of older version and free software users to work with others. It's getting to the point where I fear my livelihood might be impacted because my project managers and clients are getting so many Microsoft Word-only errors in my LibreOffice-written files.

@neauoire I waffled around for years using Windows and Windows based applications, unable to really ever find MY workflow between programs like Visual Studio or even full blown engine IDEs like Unity. I wasted my 20s unable to participate in the creative work I wanted to do because I would eventually hit some brick wall where the only options were to pirate or to pay my limited income on some specific software.

The Godot Engine was a lifesaver, because it not only got me into a comfortable enough space to learn but there also is no skill ceiling I can hit before it will stop being useful to me. But it was also the thing that let me hop to Linux for daily use because I no longer had My App keeping me tied to Windows.

Proprietary everything is absolute fucking junk as far as I'm concerned. The only thing left to do, IMHO, is to make the FOSS experience as UX friendly as possible so everyone and their grandma can still use their machines.

@neauoire also, to clarify, I have nothing against Windows users but totally against Windows. Even so, I think we should port as many FOSS softwares to as many devices as possible. I think this is where programs like Blender are now slowly creeping up to Maya and AutoDesk, simply because everybody can learn it for free and writing plugins is totally trivial

@neauoire @gabek How do you feel about having open source tools as your skill? Is it OK to learn how to GIMP?

@stevenroose @gabek Not a fan, but at least it feels slightly less like your skillset is being rented to you.

@neauoire @stevenroose Open source or not, I've never understood why people would dedicate their lives and career to a single tool or company. What if that company goes out of business? Or they pivot? What if they become awful human beings you no longer support? I've met so many who "do" Ruby, or After Effects, or Pro Tools, or .NET, but people should diversify. It's more fun to try different things anyway, plus you learn a lot that you can bring with you everywhere.

@gabek @neauoire @stevenroose Mostly people do this because it's successful. Part of why it's successful is because recruiters use keyword searches in their CV databases. And when I say "use", that sounds as if they do this actively. They don't. The software does it for them.

The tooling here actually looks almost identical to online advertising, and uses similar terminology. A job posting is an ad, and it's run for a period of time in a particular set..

@gabek @neauoire @stevenroose ... of channels, such as websites or mailing lists. Cost to the company who wants to fill the role can even be per click or impression.

The best conversion rate is got when you can figure out a good match with the target audience, so having a large number of keyword scanned CVs is a good idea.

For the person hunting for a job, it therefore makes sense to stuff their CV with keywords that are associated with jobs they...

@gabek @neauoire @stevenroose ... would like.

But there's often tests. So you need to "skill up" on those keywords.

Recruiting aside, it's also vendor lock in. Companies that produce the kind of product you might list as your skill benefit hugely from the platform effect that comes with having this kind of product; people will effectively advertise for you.

@gabek @neauoire @stevenroose *looks at her résumé which shouts puppet puppet PUPPET*

uh… i dunno

@neauoire for the past couple months i've been deciding to stop feeling so proud of myself (or other people) whenever the "wrong" tool is being used for the right job

on further reflection i shall continue celebrating wrong tools

@neauoire yeah, if you know how to dig, the brand of the shovel shouldn't matter.

@neauoire I also get really upset that people seem so intimidated by the idea of "technology" that they adopt a kind of survival strategy of buying into the biggest, most popular mass corporate offering. Anything that does not fit into the tidy black box presentation of an anodyne consumer product is seen as scary, leading to irrelevance in "the marketplace". The perspective is myopic, hopeless and devoid of imagination.

But the irony is that even a slightly longer-term capitalist view will show you that general concepts and theoretical understanding will get you so much further.

It's like people don't trust themselves to learn anything other than the latest massive mainstream trends. Having learned a dozen programming languages in School with the majority being proprietary but not how the proper develop software, i totally feel with you.

@neauoire even if I understand your point, it may be explained this way: working is always using and mastering certain tools. If "drawing" was used to designate "using and mastering a certain set of tools (paper, pens etc..)", maybe the term isnt adapted anymore to new practices or the new tools are so different from one to another that using a common maybe not that relevant

@neauoire ie: you are speaking in term of skills where corps are speaking in term of means

@neauoire I remember back in school and early college where we were graded on how well we explained how to use the softwares provided to us more than what we managed to produce out of it. Meaning that a highly creative artist could score less than a user who spent most of his/her time just writing what tools did what. Which also meant that users didn't need to "go the extra mile" and focus on making high quality artwork. :twilightfacehoof:

@neauoire It may be beside your point, but I hate how résumés (have to) include a list of technologies you're supposedly proficient at - even though it's impossible to be proficient at them for long as everything is shifting constantly, and difficult to become proficient without a long-term sponsored project or program. I have generally felt capable enough to learn any tool I need for the job, so isn't that what employers are looking for? not really, it turns out, since they don't want to spend to train anyone.

But yeah, I would rather put "Illustration" "Graphic Design" "Programming" skills at proficiency ratings, rather than list every technology I've used ad nauseum.

@neauoire i prefer to do everything in the simplest way possible, and sometimes that involves pen and ink, sometimes it involves “an app” but I value tremendously the ability to understand the theory behind what I am doing, and how to be able to do it entirely on my own, if necessary. Some things I do I am not there yet, but most of it I do.

@neauoire I was trained as a classical black and white photographer, and then learned color processing, and I don’t do anything with my photography work I could not emulate on analog machines. I also trained in a 1 hour photo lab as an apprentice when I was 18 and learned a lot about advanced film fuckery there. anyway, i like the whole conversation going on here, this is good stuff… pardon the two parter!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.